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Mike MacIntyre's coaching tree deeply rooted

The career of Colorado's football coach influenced by legends both past and present.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dr. George Norlin had a profound impact on CU's history and his writings became world renowned. The scholar's phrase, "Who knows only his own generation remains always a child," is a sediment that remains deeply rooted to the university and can be found inscribed above the doors of the campus' main library named after him.

Those words are a metaphor for the world of coaching-- Great coaches know their history and have an understanding on how the past applies to the future.

As for Colorado Buffaloes head coach Mike MacIntyre, his craft was inherited by bloodline. Mike's father, George, was a head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores from 1979-85 and kept his son involved with football from an early age, making practices a family ritual. The time spend growing through the coaching ranks paid off, considering the roots of MacIntyre's coaching tree were built by football legends.

Three coaches (besides his father), have mentored MacIntyre during his career spanning through three decades-- Bill Parcells, Eric Mangini, and David Cutcliffe. The tracing of Mac's coaching tree reveals these coaches were passed down techniques through generations.

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NFL greats like George Halas & George Allen, along with arguably the best college coach to ever grace the field, Alabama Crimson Tide's Bear Bryant can be linked to MacIntyre, who's journey started out at Georgia as a Graduate Assistant in 1990. He quickly developed a unique style and from there moved on became a defensive coordinator for Davidson, Tennessee-Martin & Temple from 1992-1998.

Mac's first experience with a "Power 5" conference came in 1999 as Ole Miss' receivers coach under Cutcliffe, who's currently the head coach at Duke. After four seasons with the Rebels, a stint in the NFL was the next step for MacIntyre, as part of Parcells' rebuilding process with the Dallas Cowboys. After three seasons, MacIntyre joined the New York Jets and Eric Mangini for a season, before being reunited with Cutcliffe at Duke. After serving two seasons as defensive coordinator, he made the jump to San Jose State for his first head coaching position.

George MacIntyre influenced Mike's career in coaching, "The one thing that he taught me is make sure you don't put the cart before the horse," Mac said about his dad. This year marks the 26th year in coaching for MacIntyre and fourth season of his tenure with CU.

For the first time in his life, MacIntyre starts a football season without the advise of his father, who passed away in January from a long battle with MS. Elder MacIntyre devoted his life to coaching and at the peak of his 37-year career received national coach of the year honors at Vanderbilt in 1982.

A successful season with a bowl win would be a great turnaround for a football program that has struggled over the past decade like Colorado. It would also be a great way to honor Mac's father for the football life he created. The philosophy is a blueprint for the Buffs rise-- one that consists of family, foundation, future and football. A motto that MacIntyre lives by and preaches to students of the game.